PURPOSE (i) To systematically review longitudinal and prognostic studies relating to the trajectory of cognitive-communication recovery after TBI and (ii) to provide recommendations to strengthen future research. METHOD Thirteen health literature databases were accessed up until July 2014. MAIN MEASURES Articles were screened systematically against pre-determined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Quality reviews were performed on the selected articles using a modified Downs & Black Rating Scale. Two independent reviewers performed the reviews. RESULT Sixteen longitudinal and prognostic articles met the inclusion criteria. There was evidence of either maintenance or improvement of cognitive-communication skills during the first 3 years post-injury. However, the studies did not provide detailed recovery trajectories, by failing to evaluate numerous data points over time. No studies evaluated recovery beyond 3 years post-injury. Injury severity, lesion location, brain volume loss and conversation skills may predict specific cognitive-communication outcomes. There was high variability in study characteristics and measures. CONCLUSION There is currently scarce evidence regarding cognitive-communication recovery and prognosis. People with TBI may recover or maintain pre-morbid cognitive-communication skills during the early rehabilitation stage. Further research detailing the recovery trajectory with a view to evaluating predictive factors is strongly indicated. Guidelines for future research are provided.